How Many Eggs a Day Can You Safely Eat? The Truth About...

How Many Eggs a Day Can You Safely Eat? The Truth About Eggs

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Love them or hate them, eggs are the world’s perfect protein source. According to health experts, you need less protein from eggs than you do from other sources to achieve the same benefits in terms of weight loss and muscle growth. So how many eggs a day can you safely eat? Is it safe to eat raw eggs? We’ve all heard stories about people who were eating over 20 eggs a day to pack on muscle. Too much of anything can be harmful, so the question remains: how much is too much?

Eggs: The Perfect Protein

Despite their proven health benefits, eggs are some of the most controversial foods available. Their bad reputation is due to the fact that the yolks are high in cholesterol. A medium sized egg (50 grams) provides 70 calories, 6 grams of protein, 5 grams of fat, 185 milligrams of cholesterol, and zero carbs. It also contains vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin D, riboflavin, folic acid, iron, calcium, and zinc. Egg protein has the highest biological value of any food. Whether you want to bulk up, lose weight, or just stay fit, eggs are your best friend.

The latest studies will make you think twice before dumping those bright yellow orbs.

According to the American Heart Association, there is no longer a specific recommendation on the number of egg yolks consumed weekly. Researchers have found that higher consumption of eggs is not associated with an increased risk of stroke or cardiovascular disease. Eating one egg a day has no effect on cholesterol levels. What about 5, 10, or 15 eggs a day? If you’re on a low carb diet or want to build muscle, you probably eat more than five eggs a day.

Eggs contain cholesterol – that’s a fact. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that eating eggs will increase your cholesterol levels and affect your health. The amount of saturated fat in your diet has a greater impact on blood cholesterol levels than eating eggs does. Numerous studies have shown that dietary cholesterol doesn’t raise blood cholesterol levels. Research also indicates that eating Omega-3 enriched eggs lowers blood triglycerides, which is good for your health.

Dietary cholesterol doesn’t raise blood cholesterol levels.

Here’s something interesting: the average Japanese eats 328 eggs per year. Still, people in Japan have a reduced risk of heart disease and lower levels of cholesterol compared to those in the United States and other developed countries. Most Americans have their eggs alongside bacon, salami, smoked cheese, sausages and other foods rich in saturated fat. These food combinations increased cholesterol levels and may lead to obesity, stroke, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and other health problems.

Eggs only have a slight effect on blood cholesterol levels. This minor side effect could easily be countered by the health benefits associated with these superfoods.

Eat the whole egg – after all, it’s one of the best sources of protein, vitamins, and minerals. Eggs are a nutritional powerhouse that provides your body with antioxidants, amino acids, folate, choline, lutein, zeaxanthin and more. Due to their low calorie content, eggs are ideal for weight loss.

Is It Safe to Eat Raw Eggs?

What about raw eggs? Is it safe to add raw eggs to your protein shakes or mix them with milk and smoothies? Well, you should think twice before eating raw eggs. They may contain salmonella, a leading cause of foodborne illness. Salmonella only affects a small number of eggs, but the risk is still there.

Besides the salmonella problem, there’s another reason why you shouldn’t eat raw eggs. It seems that the human body only absorbs 50% of the protein in raw eggs. Cooked eggs are easier to digest and have a slightly better amino acid profile. The protein is cooked eggs is absorbed into your body to a higher extent (98%) than the protein in raw eggs. This means that if you eat five eggs providing 30 grams of protein, your body will only absorb 15 grams. Eating raw eggs may also lead to Biotin Deficiency Syndrome.

The human body only absorbs 50% of the protein in raw eggs. The protein is cooked eggs is absorbed into your body to a higher extent (98%). Eating raw eggs may also lead to biotin deficiency. 

"egg protein absorption"
See, Amount and fate of egg protein escaping assimilation in the small intestine of humans, Pieter Evenepoel, et al. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol 277: G935-G943, 1999; 0193-1857/99 Full text at: http://ajpgi.physiology.org/cgi/reprint/277/5/G935

The health risks of consuming raw eggs are small, but they do exist. Poor protein absorption and lowering of biotin availability are the biggest issues. Eggs can be prepared in a multitude of ways, so why would you eat them raw? Scrambled, boiled, baked, steamed, or micro-waved – there are countless egg recipes that you can try right now.

Sources:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9772141 
http://jn.nutrition.org/content/128/10/1716.full
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/07315724.2004.10719429#.U0RmT6iSyOR




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